Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flying High

Angie here:

Hang gliding above Missoula last weekend...

Okay, not intentionally.

While working an event for the Montana Meth Project, the wind whipped up. Our job up on the mountain was to answer hiker questions about the black-tarped "M", make sure it stayed covered through the game, and clean it up after.

We'd already weathered a huge rain storm, chock full of lightening, thunder, and driven rain. We ran straight uphill for the truck and waited it out while we waited for the MT Grizzlies to start playing again. But that first game was Black Saturday and intended to draw awareness to Meth to help people say Not Even Once. We wanted to reach the city with the message. (We did succeed!) People loved it.

What we didn't realize was that the wind would pick back up after the storm with another storm coming in behind the first. As we roll the black tarping off the huge "M" on Sentinel Mountain, the gusts attacked in powerful swirling action. My daughter was on my left, I was hunkered down directly on the face of the "M", and my hubby was on my right.

The wind rushed in and tarping broke loose from underneath swooping up into the air. I just happened to be holding that area. Up, up, up I went! I'm sure I only flew a few feet, but I realized my dream of hang-gliding. (I'm good now. I can say I did it. Yep, I've satisfied that curiosity.)

Lucky for me, my daughter didn't let go even though she was drug several feet down the side of the mountain by the strength of the wind. My hubby grabbed and rolled the material back reeling me down. I dropped back onto the "M" a little afraid to touch the shroud again.

Shaken? Yes!

Would I do that again? Noooo!

But what a great story I can now build into a book someday. The fiction writer always has to make things darker and darker and then find a resolution that's satisfying. So if your character had been lifted up unexpectedly above a steep mountain, how would your story go from there? How dark would you make it? Would she be injured or die? Would your villain somehow have caused it?
What fears would your character have after that, if any?
Would they do it again? Why? What's a strong enough motivation(reason)?

Angie Breidenbach
Coming in October, Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance in hard copy!
Releasing March 2011, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure Filled Life


  1. Ang, first my character would have to be afraid of heights. Then, of course, she'd have to be carried farther/higher, perhaps even doing it on purpose to save someone else. Facing her fears head on.

  2. Wow, Angie, what an experience! I think I can truly say that I'm glad it wasn't me. But, if I had been there I would have been pulling (for)you. Half of my family lives in the NC mountains so I've seen wind swirling around those higher elevations.

    Have you every walked down the streets of a large city, like- say- Atlanta, and had the wind tunnel down, pick up your umbrella and pull you several feet down the street. (It's like your umbrella is walking you.) Luckily, the umbrella eventually folds up, but while it's going on it's an adventure too. And hilarious for those watching.

    It's amazing what experiences we can build into our books when we experience them firsthand. Did you write this one down, complete with impressions, feelings, fears, and the reactions of others?

  3. Scary! But what gorgeous scenery! Maybe a character who went through that would have a fear of flying. :)